HEAVY rains have left a trail of destruction on roads as well as homes and other infrastructure in various parts of Livingstone.
The rains, which were experienced in Zambia’s Tourist Capital on Tuesday night, have left many vehicles and school going pupils stranded within their premises as most roads are now impassable after they were destroyed completely.
Areas that are mostly affected are within Freedom Ward and these are Mwandi, Mwandi Extension, Airport, Dambwa North, Dambwa Extension, Mundolobezi and David Livingstone College of Education (DALICE) area.
Water pipes have been brought to the surface while some electrical poles are on the verge of collapsing as most soil has been washed away.
The rains have also destructed the supply of water and electricity in Mwandi Extension area while toilets at Mwandi Community School are flooded.
Further, the road leading to Mundolobezi Clinic has been damaged and this has posed a challenge for people trying to access health facilities at the Clinic.
Livingstone District Commissioner Omar Munsanje, who rushed to the affected areas yesterday, has described the situation as a disaster which required urgent attention.
Mr Munsanje has since asked various stakeholders in the district namely the Livingstone City Council, Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO),
Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) to quickly move in and rectify the problem.
He also said his office would work with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to rectify the problem.
Mr Munsanje said it would be difficult to attend to emergencies in the area going by the current state of roads.
“In as much as we have been praying for the rains, it is sad that the rains have left a trail of destruction and most roads have been washed away.
“We need a long lasting solution to this problem. Government will move in to restore the roads so that scores of vehicles which are stranded in homes can resume their normal operations,” Mr Munsanje said.
Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti, who also rushed to the affected areas, said the local authority would immediately response to the crisis.
Ms Chikoti said the Livingstone City Council had allocated K20, 000 and 220 litres of fuel in each ward to respond to various challenges.
“Let us stop blaming each other but we should look at the way forward to the challenge we are experiencing.
“We have challenges of equipment and the District Commissioner has given us equipment. Our engineers will be on site to respond to some of these problems,” Ms Chikoti said.
Scores of residents, who blamed the local authority for poor planning of the area, exchanged bitter words with suspended area councillor Saxon Simachembele.
They said it was sad that Botswana Road, which was constructed prior to the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) General Assembly held in Livingstone in 2013, had no drainage system.
But Mr Simachembele, who is United Party for National Development Party UPND), said roads cannot be upgraded by one person and hence there was need for collective efforts from other stakeholders.
“In 2014, I once told the full council meeting to declare roads in my ward as a disaster but they didn’t do so and today we are seeing what I said two years ago.
“One person cannot manage to do the roads alone and hence we need other stakeholders to come in such as Road Development Agency (RDA) and area Member of Parliament Lawrence Evans among others,” Mr Simachembele said.
A resident, Rodrick Mwamupeni, asked President Lungu to intervene as the area required urgent attention.